Definition of close encounter in US English:

close encounter


  • A supposed encounter with a UFO or with aliens.

    • ‘The opportunity to have a close encounter with an otherworldly spirit brought visitors by the hundreds.’
    • ‘A group of children playing in Littleborough reckon they have had a close encounter with a UFO.’
    • ‘As he grows up he begins to believe that he had a close encounter, and other events in his life seem to support that.’
    • ‘I live in the mid-west and have had a few occurrences of the paranormal nature in the past few years, never really experienced them before in my life and have been seeking someone to enlighten me on these close encounters.’
    • ‘Will there be close encounters of the alien kind?’
    • ‘Among the files to be released are documents dealing with Britain's most high-profile recentish close encounters, UFO sightings in Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk in 1980.’
    • ‘All that is about to change when Roy has a close encounter with something he cannot explain.’
    • ‘Together, they have collected thousands of local eyewitness accounts of UFO sightings and other close encounters.’
    • ‘The book is full of local flavour and includes stories of ghosts, witchcraft and mermaids, close encounters, poltergeists and alien big cats.’


  • close encounter of the first (or second etc.) kind

    • Used to describe encounters involving increasing degrees of complexity and apparent exposure of the witness to aliens, with the first kind being a mere sighting and the fourth kind being abduction.

      • ‘A year later, after spending countless hours trying to bond with his father, he has a close encounter of the third kind.’
      • ‘I need some expert advice on a vision or potential close encounter of the first kind.’
      • ‘Did dozens of people experience a close encounter of the first kind?’
      • ‘Many people think that this equation actually proves the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence and some even believe that a close encounter of the third kind could be just around the corner.’
      • ‘I'm trying my best to keep a serious face while John goes on about his close encounters of the third kind.’
      • ‘Of the 5,254 reported UFO sightings since 1989, 35 are close encounters of the fourth kind.’


close encounter

/ˌklōs ənˈkoun(t)ər/